How Do Older Adults Define Successful Aging?: A Scoping Review

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Successful aging is a prominent theory that describes the aging process and the expected activities and behaviors older adults should engage in or exhibit to age successfully. Although this theory is used to gauge the extent to which older adults are aging successfully, older adults’ experiences and perspectives of what successful aging means to them are missing from the theory. A five-step scoping review framework was used to explore and synthesize the existing research that investigated older adults’ perspectives on successful aging. Twelve main themes were found and ranged from the importance of social relationships and interactions to having a good death. Findings indicated older adults do not define successful aging as strictly as is found in the literature. Old age and the aging process from the views of older adults provide future directions for theory development and research.